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Nepal president’s letters to superpowers don’t bear fruit in vaccine breakthrough

President Bidya Devi Bhandari
President Bidya Devi Bhandari

Kathmandu, June 15

The then foreign affairs minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali had told journalists on May 28 that the government had expected a breakthrough in the import of the Covid-19 vaccines in the next 15 days. Around the same time, the government made President Bidya Devi Bhandari write letters to heads of the states of global superpowers such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and India, asking for their support to import the vaccines.

The government had a reason to do this: the president’s conversation with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had resulted in Beijing announcing one million doses of the vaccines as a grant.

However, other efforts have not borne any fruit yet, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An official there says the government has not received anything except the confirmation of the receipt of the letters.

“But, the president’s letters cannot push the purchase process forward; they are just a request,” he maintains, “Therefore, you don’t need to expect more. The government has to act for purchase.”

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